Buyers Mag X TBC Status – Nanuka Tchitchoua

by Mary Bitchashvili

What inspires your work? Do you think of dreams and memories while you are making your images?

Usually, I am not aware of what inspired me until the end, but it can be sparked by anything that allows me to think about how cultures come together – how our nature can be informed with so much love and sorrow at once. We are constantly connected to the present and part of us is connected to centuries. In that respect, I have been building a vocabulary of images from memories new and old, from my immediate environments and from nature in order to tap into emotions and fantasies and work out certain patterns. I have learned that art-making for me is a more liberating activity if I try not to think about past or childhood – to be in the here and in the now, yet these things inevitably surface.

What is your process like? Do you work on many pieces at once or one at a time?

My process is intuitive and meditative. At the moment I am focused on one piece at a time – concentration, relaxing the control, and finding joy in the process is important. Always multiple works are in various stages. Risks and surprises are important. I often draw or collage at home, not so much for meaning but for images. Then I cross the city and when I come to my studio I try to leave everything outside, to leave my clutter all behind. I have no agenda in what I am supposed to do, except to trust the cosmos and my subconscious and with limited materials of large canvas and paints. I follow the work and it tells me what to follow. I often work on the floor, much like gardening, planting seeds around and nourishing them, and letting them flourish, enjoying, and learning from the process.

I know you are collecting books and then use for drawings or as materials — together as a narrative what story would you like to tell?

Its a kind of a mapping of ‘knowledge’ with images that acts as a portal. We all have profound experiences, especially in our youth but it is more about what’s the fantasy of now rather than what happened to me then. Artbook collaborations with other fellow artists and friends act as important bridges and exchange. The art book project ‘The Astronomical Diaries’, is the most recent altered book: a 600 page manual of architectural design standards that are reinvented and overtaken by personal experiences, with images of nature, dreams, and memories, visions for the future. It’s a place where fantasy is real.

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Astronomical Diaries Nana2015_0068_full

How should we best engage with technological nature in order to deepen our appreciation for our environment? 

For technology to become a force of integration rather than destruction we must find the seeds of changes and nurture them. There is so much collateral and intentional damage and we have to come to terms with that, we must also recognize that new tools can be empowering so we can use it consciously and not compulsively to better manage our control so that we don’t endlessly make same mistakes. We have to invest more into consciousness and then new possibilities will open. How conscious we are about nature and our environment will determine the quality and the well-being of ALL LIFE -The planet is for all of Us.

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What is your mindfulness tool?

It goes hand in hand with inner peace, a positive mindset, and self-healing. Every moment offers new opportunities to grow and my challenges become blessings in my journey. Using different mindfulness tools depending on the object of my inquiry, whether it’s practice for concentration or to cultivate mindfulness of  ‘compassion’, mindfulness of ‘being present at the moment’, or mindfulness of ‘letting go’.  Taking time each day to remind and reinforce what I am grateful for begins ’with breathing in and I know that I am breathing in, and breathing out I know that I am breathing out…..’ and allowing myself to let go of the tension in my body with each breath. By building these habits I create my own paradigm shift. The beauty lies in the journey and it’s available for all of us.

What is your favorite medium to work with?

Mostly using water-based inks, pigments, and paints, with modified printmaking techniques. I am always trying something new, my fascination with how materials are used, what qualities they have, how they can be manipulated, and what they mean in different cultures. I am deeply attracted to anything that makes color and light. I have a special love for moving images and experimental cinema.

What do you imagine the ideal place for your work to be displayed is?

Unless I am working for a specific place or collaboration, I don’t think about where I would display my work, not until the end. Whether in public art or educational spaces or alternative venues, the aim is to charge the environment and allow the viewer to experience a heightened zone. The final work often evolves into a non-narrative film or animation,  along with paintings or drawings, and when exhibiting I often try to find a way of bringing the works together as a multi/media environment.


What excites you most about your future?

I don’t know anything about the future so that’s already very exciting. I want to stop worrying about the future and try to stop controlling so much – I want to trust the universe and its system – I want to embrace pain and find joy in the present – I want to experience life now and live to my fullest potential.


How does living in LA influence you?

Simply living and working in LA while having such an affinity to Georgia is a paradox, an impossibility. I like to see LA as a DADA-ist playground with its surprises and hypnotic openness, versus Tbilisi’s vibrant surrealism. Between the two cities, there is always an underlying play of signs and colors that must somehow shape the aura of my work.

If you’re trying to get into the positive mood which song is the first.

Hmm.. many songs from the ’Oldies but Goodies’, 50’ 60’ 70’s. Something like “Be My Baby” or in a different mood, “Three Little Birds.”

Photographed by Lever Rukhin